Annihilation of Caste

Annihilation of Caste:The Annotated Critical Edition

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B.R. Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste is one of the most important, yet neglected, works of political writing from India. Written in 1936, it is an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and its caste system. It offers a scholarly critique of Hindu scriptures, scriptures that sanction a rigidly hierarchical and iniquitous social system. Arundhati Roy introduces this extensively annotated edition in “The Doctor and the Saint,” examining the persistence of caste in modern India, and how the conflict between Ambedkar and Gandhi continues to resonate. Roy breathes new life into Ambedkar’s anti-caste utopia, and says that without a Dalit revolution, India will continue to be hobbled by systemic inequality.


  • Annihilation of Caste has to be read ... No Hindu who prizes his faith above life itself can afford to underrate the importance of this indictment.

    M.K. Gandhi
  • Marvellous writing with conceptual clarity and political understanding – something the world should know about. . . Roy’s essay has the sharp political thrust one has come to expect from her

    Uma Chakravarti, author of Everyday Lives, Everyday Historie
  • Arundhati Roy’s ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ works both at an emotive and an argumentative level. She manages to convey an intimate and deeply felt sensitivity to the history that produced Annihilation of Caste... A robust edition of an under-appreciated classic.

    Satish Deshpande, Professor of Sociology, Delhi University